Method Smarty Dish Dishwasher Tabs (*Est. 30 cents per load) is free of bleach and chlorine, and all ingredients are listed on the manufacturer's website. This eco-friendly detergent is available in scented Pink Grapefruit and unscented Go Naked varieties, and it earns generally positive reviews from pros and users alike (though it can't match the reviews earned by top-rated Finish Quantum).
In the most comprehensive test we found at ConsumerReports.org, editors say Method Smarty Dish Tabs outperformed most of the dishwasher detergents tested, but did poorly in hard water. In her roundup review, About.com's housekeeping guide, Sarah Aguirre, says Method Smarty Dish is a personal favorite, and the minimal packaging is another plus. However, Aguirre doesn't discuss how (or if) she tested the detergents she recommends. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Method isn't included in the other professional sources we consulted, but it's got a dedicated following from consumers, many of whom say they do not have the same issues with hard water. About 30 consumers review the Go Naked version of Smarty Dish at Drugstore.com, giving it an average score of 4.8 out of 5; at Viewpoints.com, Method also earns a reasonably good average score of 79 out of 100. At both sites, users say the detergent cleans well -- if not quite as well as non-green detergents like Finish or Cascade. A number of reviewers also praise Method for selling the scent- and dye-free Go Naked version.
In a blog post, Farrell lists some of the results of the latest ConsumerReports.org testing of dishwasher detergents. The post focuses on detergents' performance and hard water, and she says Method Smarty Dish performed very poorly in the hard water test. Its last place finish there moved it from fourth to tenth place overall. The original ranking suggests that it may still be a good bet for those without hard water though, and a fourth place finish would make it the best green detergent tested.
Review: Can Dishwasher Detergent Improve Its Tarnished Reputation?, Mary H.J. Farrell, May 17, 2012
About.com's housekeeping guide, Sarah Aguirre, lists the six best dishwasher detergents she's found. Method Smarty Dish is listed as the best eco-friendly detergent. While it's not clear how other detergents were tested, or if they were tested, it's clear Aguirre has used Method Smarty Dish. She writes, "I've long been a fan of many of Method's products and Method's Smarty Dish Tabs are some of my favorites." She also praises the availability of a scent- and dye-free version and the compact packaging used. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: 6 Best Dishwasher Detergents , Sarah Aguirre, Not dated
At this website devoted to eco-friendly parenting, Jamie Ervin tests five green dishwasher detergents: Palmolive Eco+, Planet, Seventh Generation liquid, Method Smarty Dish Tabs and Ecover. Two of the detergents, Palmolive Eco+ and Planet, do not clean well. Ervin says Ecover tablets work "okay" but crumble when they are removed from the package. Her favorites are Method Smarty Dish Tabs and Seventh Generation liquid; both clean as well as conventional detergents, in her opinion.
Review: Do Natural Dishwasher Detergents Actually Work?, Jamie Ervin , Dec. 2, 2008
There are few dishwasher detergent reviews at Drugstore.com, though Method Smarty Dish does get nearly 30 reviews for its Go Naked option (a scent- and dye-free version). The average review rating is nearly 5 stars (4.8 at the time of this review). Users say that overall it's efficient, easy to use and powerful.
Review: Automatic Dishwashing Supplies, Contributors to Drugstore.com , As of June 2012
Method Smarty Dish Dishwasher Tabs is the top-reviewed green detergent at Viewpoints.com, though conventional detergents like Cascade Complete Pacs and Finish Quantum fare better still. With about 14 reviews, Method Smarty Dish averages 79 out of 100 points. One user says although no dishwasher detergent gets dishes perfectly clean, Method fares better than competitors, and it's worth it for the green formula.
Review: Method Pink Grapefruit Smarty Dish Non-Toxic Dishwasher Detergent Tabs Reviews, Contributors to Viewpoints.com, As of June 2012